This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
The only thing better than picking up fresh donuts on a Sunday morning is making homemade donuts and serving them warm, perfectly glazed, and with a fresh pot of coffee! My homemade French Crullers, warmed out of the oil and dipped in my vanilla glaze are a weekend maker. They’re impossible to pass up!
These French Crullers taste super light and delicate, not hefty or oily like you might experience with regular donuts. That’s because they are made with a pâte à choux dough that makes the donuts so fluffy.
Don’t be intimidated by frying at home! As long as you are careful around the oil, you’ll be surprised just how easy it is. These donuts are irresistibly crispy on the outside and so airy on the inside—you will be glad you gave it a go!
What Are French Crullers?
Crullers, which are originally Dutch, are now a favorite in America and Canada too! Unlike typical donuts, French Crullers are made with pâte à choux dough instead of yeasted dough. When choux pastry dough, made with simple ingredients like milk, butter, and eggs, is fried, it rises and stays airy thanks to the steam.
French crullers should be crispy, with edges that absorb all the wonderful vanilla glaze on the outside and super soft on the inside.
What You Need To Make French Crullers
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- Parchment paper
- Piping bag with large open star tip
How To Make French Crullers
They look fancy, but you’ll be surprised how easy French crullers are to make! Here is how you make French Crullers (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil. Turn off the heat and dump the flour in all at once into the milk mixture. Start to stir vigorously!
- Turn the heat back on, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat. It will become a thick dough. You will be turning and pressing it onto the pan.
- After a few minutes of kneading the dough like this, it should be come smooth. At that state, remove it from the heat and spread the dough out into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl to cool quickly.
- After around 15 minutes, once the dough is just a little warm, add 2 of the eggs and the lemon zest. Beat until fully incorporated.
- Add in the remaining two eggs and beat until blended. Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour, until it is fully chilled.
- While the dough chills, cut parchment paper into 18 3-inch (7 1/2-cm) squares.
- Once the dough has chilled, put it into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe a 3-inch (7 1/2cm) circle of dough on each square of paper, making sure you connect the ends.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, pour oil 2 inches deep. Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil to 350°F (180°C). (If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the oil on medium heat.) Place a wire rack on a baking sheet next to the pot and a bowl of the vanilla doughtnut glaze near the rack.
- Once the oil has reached the proper temperature, place a square of parchment with the cruller on it on a slotted spoon and slowly lower it into the oil. Add one or two more crullers to the pot in the same way. Be sure to leave the parchment paper on.
- After a minute, pull the paper away from the cruller with metal tongs. Fry the cruller for about 2-3 minutes on one side, until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the cruller from the oil, dip it in the glaze, and cool it on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining crullers, but be sure to fry only 2 or 3 at a time so the oil maintains the correct temperature.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making French Crullers
- French cruller dough is very soft and sticky—that’s why they need to be fried on the parchment paper at first. If you would prefer not to mess around with frying with it on and then removing, you can freeze the crullers until they are cold and firm enough to handle without sticking or losing their shape.
- Oil is HOT when frying! Make sure you stay safe: place doughnuts carefully in the oil to avoid splash burns, watch carefully to make sure that the oil doesn’t start to smoke, and never walk away from oil heating on the stove! If you are a child making this recipe, make sure to get an adult’s help!
- Crullers are best the day they are made, but you can still start the recipe in advance! You can make this dough up to 3 days ahead and store it in an airtight container until you are ready to pipe.
- Coat in my vanilla donut glaze!
How Do I Store French Crullers?
French Crullers are best eaten the day they’re made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you’d like to prepare the dough in advance, be sure to see my tips above!
Make More Donuts!
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!